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Age Exchange art features in national museum

The creative talents of people living with dementia will be seen by thousands of people at a major new exhibition at the National Maritime Museum.

‘All Aboard’, a stunning showcase of artwork created by people supported by Age Exchange – the UK’s leading reminiscence arts charity based in South East London who are part of Community Integrated Care – is now open until January 31st.

Painting entitled Treasure Island by Kam Richard and Michael

In 2020, Age Exchange collaborated with the National Maritime Museum on a unique programme to tackle isolation during the pandemic, inspired by the theme of travel.

‘All Aboard’ saw forty people, supported by our charity’s Age Exchange service, receive a special suitcase packed with nostalgic objects that promoted reminiscence of holidays and travel gone-by. Containing archive travel materials and a range of arts resources, they were inspired to reflect upon the important journeys of their lives.

Through virtual workshops and socially distanced visits inspired by the museum and its travel archives, the group was enabled to develop their own artworks. The resulting creations, which convey stories as varied as beloved family holidays to experiences of emigration, as well as journeys of the imagination, are now on display at the prestigious museum.

Painting entitled 'Seascape' by Donna

The exhibition of ‘All Aboard features in the Museum’s prominent ‘Great Map exhibition space. It powerfully combines the museum’s historic Travel Journal Collection of diaries, letters, photography, drawings and paintings, dating from the 17th Century to the present day, with the arts works created by the Age Exchange members.

The project has been generously funded by Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund, which supports programmes that increase public engagement with museums.

David Savill, Artistic Director of Age Exchange, said:

“For many, the prospect of travelling right now presents a lot of risks and considerations, but the barriers are even higher for people living with dementia. This project gave the people we support the opportunity to contemplate a world without barriers again and to reconnect with treasured memories.

“Their artworks and stories they have shared are incredibly moving and demonstrate the true impact of practices on memory and wellbeing. We believe that this is a truly inspirational and important exhibition for the public to engage in. We’re grateful to Royal Museums Greenwich for helping us to change lives and tackle isolation during the pandemic.”

Find out more here.

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